Think You Have an Employment Lawsuit? Top Questions to Ask Yourself

February 5, 2024by admin0

As a Massachusetts attorney specializing in employment law, I understand how tricky a topic this can be for most people. Prior to starting my own law firm, I worked in Human Resources at Fidelity Investments and then later as a consultant at MIT focusing on legal issues impacting the workplace. I witnessed first-hand how confusing and stressful it can be to navigate what are often sensitive and emotional matters. This is more pronounced with the ever-changing employment landscape – from office-based, to remote and hybrid working locations, along with protected characteristics, gender identity definitions and pronouns.

There are a wide variety of reasons why an individual may feel they have a claim for an employment lawsuit. I have handled numerous contract and wage disputes, sexual harassment, discrimination, and whistleblower cases for employees. However, for every valid case, there are just as many that simply will not stand ground in the eyes of the law. I always encourage individuals to seek legal representation if they feel they may have a case, but I also advise they do some homework from the onset.

To help, I created a list of questions to ask yourself if you are considering an employment lawsuit:

1.  Are you an at-will employee?

Most American employees are at-will employees. Pursuant to the employment at-will doctrine, employers are free to terminate an employee for any reason or no reason at all. The only exception to the employment at-will employment doctrine is when there has been a violation of public policy, which typically comes in the form of discrimination based upon a protected class, sexual harassment, whistleblowing, wage violations, breach of contract and/or implied contract, etc. Absent a violation of public policy, courts do not adjudicate garden variety disputes between employees and employers.

2. If you are pursuing a discrimination claim, were you discriminated against based upon your protected class?

Applicants, employees, and former employees are protected from employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (gender or pregnancy), sexual orientation, national origin, age (being 40 or older), or disability status.

3. Have you lodged a complaint with management and/or Human Resources regarding the illegal conduct?

In most instances, employers must be given the opportunity to remedy a workplace problem before an employee can pursue a legal claim and therefore it is incumbent upon an employee to report any violations of the law.

4. If you did report the illegal conduct, were you subject to retaliation?

5. Do you have documentation to support your claim (i.e., saved emails, voicemails, physical records)?

6.  Are there other colleagues that are subject to the same legal claim who may want to join or support your case?

As I mentioned at the start of this post, employment law is a complicated and evolving subject. You average employee, along with many employers, are not fully versed on the legal nuisances surrounding employment. It is up to you to advocate for yourself, and the best place to start is with this list of questions. If you think you have a claim, or still aren’t sure, Pregent Law is here to support you every step of the way.

Explore for more information or schedule a free consultation by calling (978)381-3256.

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